Premier League • England

Chelsea rebel faces ‘imminent’ exit as transfer talks reach ‘very advanced’ stage

Samuel Bannister
Hakim Ziyech, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Andreas Christensen

A decision is “imminent” for the transfer of Andreas Christensen from Chelsea to Barcelona after talks reached an advanced stage, according to reports.

Christensen is one of three Chelsea centre-backs out of contract at the end of the season. Along with Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta, he is someone they would like to keep. However, in all three cases, they are encountering difficulties.

When it comes to Christensen, they are not happy with his wage demands. The Denmark international has impressed under Thomas Tuchel, but it is still debatable whether he would get into their strongest lineup on paper.

Indeed, Tuchel may generally prefer to use Thiago Silva – who has committed for next season – in between Azpilicueta and Rudiger. Therefore, Christensen isn’t necessarily someone they would be willing to put among their highest earners.

His contract situation has faced many twists and turns in recent months. At times, it has seemed like a renewal is close, but at others, doubts have been creeping in. Now January is here and he can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs, fears of his exit are only growing.

Barcelona have appeared to be his prime suitors. Due to their financial situation, they have been looking for free signings – such as summer recruits Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay.

A recent update revealed Borussia Dortmund were also showing an interest in Christensen. However, now his move to La Liga looks to be close after all.

Christensen bidding war as Barcelona, Bayern and Dortmund want Chelsea defender

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are all looking at Andreas Christensen this summer as the defender won’t sign a new Chelsea contract

According to Diario Sport, Christensen and his representatives are in “very advanced” negotiations with Barcelona. The decision will be “imminent”.

Christensen exit ‘practically agreed’

Barcelona are aware that to maintain their advantage in the race to sign Christensen, they need to act ahead of the summer. That may still be as a pre-contract agreement, rather than a transfer, but they are ready to step up their efforts to get his signature now.

And they are close to doing so, with everything “practically agreed”.

Andreas Christensen playing for Chelsea

Potentially losing the 25-year-old would be a blow for Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel has fielded him in 20 matches across all competitions so far this season. He has totalled 148 appearances for them across his entire career.

But losing Andreas Christensen may not be as big a blow if Chelsea can take a replacement in return…

How a frantic fixture list has derailed Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes

Chelsea interested in Barcelona defender

Ronald Araujo has become of interest to Chelsea amid a contract stand-off with Barcelona, according to reports.

Araujo joined Barcelona in 2018 from Boston River in his native Uruguay. He spent two seasons playing for the Barca B team, making a handful of first-team appearances as well in the second.

Since the 2020-21 season, Araujo has been a member of the senior squad in Catalonia. He played 33 times across all competitions last term and has 22 games under his belt this term.

But the 22-year-old is facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou. His contract with Barcelona expires in 2023 and his terms remain the same as those he was on as a B team player.

Araujo wants to stay with Barcelona. But he knows he deserves a salary more appropriate to his role in the club now. Although he is not holding out to become one of their highest earners, it is clear he deserves something better.

Therefore, Diario Sport report that several club are keeping an eye on Araujo’s situation.

The Catalan paper claims Barcelona are already aware of interest from the Premier League trio of Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Along with United and Liverpool, Chelsea are said to have touched base with the player to enquire about his views on a transfer.

Only time will tell which route he goes down if he does decide enough is enough with Barcelona.

READ MOREChelsea transfer news: Trusted source issues double update on pursuit of Inter, PSG stars